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Rivkin last won the day on February 14

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About Rivkin

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    Kirill R.

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  1. I am very sorry to hear that. Bill did a very good job running the show; not in the least because he had a capacity for seemingly effortless dealing with a bunch of otherwise problematic people, myself included. He will be missed; when the temporary measures we all endure now are over the world of sword shows will still never be the same.
  2. Ara nie is something quite uncommon in Kamakura period; there were some smiths who forged in nie, but none with such hamon, so I would say its safe to say its Muromachi. Nice blade, lots of ware, signature is poorly photographed to the point that its difficult to resolve first kanji. If its Mino Kanemitsu, it probably has decent chance to paper. Otherwise - may be not.
  3. Unfortunately cameras can greatly distort things like taper. The first picture in the thread looks like Kambun shinto. The last one less so. If it has no taper, it can be late Nambokucho, probably Tegai school. There is an additional issue of it being suriage, so one does not 100% know how much the curvature/tapering is affected by that.
  4. Usually organizers of shinsa in the US do accept mail in swords for an additional 100 or 150$ per item. That's the easiest way. Alternatively you can send a blade to an agent in Japan who will paper it for you. 99% of what people think is really important turns out to be fake junk. Unfortunately. Regarding confiscation worries, I would avoid sending chokuto and chokuto koshirae. With the rest, few have the relevant experience. Maaaaybe there is an issue if its something along the lines of the earliest known signed and dated Bizen or signed ubu Munechika. Everything else is of little concern.
  5. Pre-Muromachi fumbari is indeed lost when the blade is shortened, since it concentrates right next to nakago. Basically in continental chokuto you sometime see an extremely rapid (over the space of 1cm) tapering, and in Kamakura Japanese blade it can taper over something like 15cm. In Kambun period tapering is much more gradual, and it should involve the entire lower half of the blade. Some argue it can't be called "fumbari", but then again on earlier pieces tapering can also be somewhat more gradual. If one goes by sugata here, I would say its Kambun Owari in Yamato style. But occasionally one does see similarly shaped blades in Muromachi times, they are just very uncommon.
  6. Forging does look like Yamato and Koto. Sugata is unusual, with such unusual fumbari (no, not the Kamakura one) which continues all the way to kissaki. This unfortunately most likely excludes pre-Muromachi examples, and the hamon is a tad too wide and rough for earlier work. Kambun shinto would be a good fit, but with such forging I would argue its from about 1500. Can be Shikkake, but I would argue for Sue Tegai. Or maybe even Mino Kanenobu, they forged in Yamato style at the time. Its in more than enough polish to paper. Polishing expenses... Up to 4-7k depending on exact length, the need for new shirasaya, habaki etc. Price of such sword in full polish - below investment. I also would be concerning that it can very well be Edo Kambun Owari school, which forged at times very similar to Yamato, and had rather rough (un-shinto) jigane. http://sanmei.com/contents/media/S19795_S2068_PUP_E.html
  7. Hirazukuri, late Muromachi... It can paper, its just not a pricy item. After Oei Nobukuni's are not that important. P.S. I had better names from this smith papering. But what he sells is usually not in polish and has forging flaws.
  8. It might sound like a cheap shot After seeing the papers, but I think this is classical later Mizuta work. Strongly nie-sunagashi based gunome with nie actually "separating" from the base of the hamon. Interestingly enough, ko Mizuta blades, each one I saw had unusually strong hada, but also each one was in its own style.
  9. There are green paper Ichimonji with Kanzan's sayagaki which repaper as shinto Ishido, and far less often, but sometimes, one does get NTHK/NBTHK difference on those, but I don't think anyone from shinshinto has this distinction. Whatever the reason, they all were "Bizen inspired" rather than an accurate copy of Ichimonji jigane/hamon.
  10. Definitely Edo period, but need two more pictures: detailed macro shot of hamon (with a camera looking from a side) and boshi. Then one could possibly identify the smith and date very accurately.
  11. I'll throw in a very controversial statement: Its exceptionally rare for NBTHK to classify any koto nijimei as gimei. The reasoning is that you can't prove that the tanto signed Kunitoshi was made to fake the Rai Kunitoshi and not by some later person, whose name was indeed Kunitoshi. One can argue that nagamei is factually wrong, but doing it for nijimei is difficult. The papers issued would simply note that its a Muromachi (for example) period's Kunitoshi, even though one can reasonably suspect that it was made to be fake - but it is an old, Muromachi period's fake. So I think this one will paper with >90% probability. Such reasoning aside, it does appear as later Muromachi example with genuine signature (Uda?). Unfortunately with those, sugata does not get one to a very precise dating/attribution.
  12. Its hard to be absolutely certain, but there is a substantial and mostly uniform curvature - something that completely went out of fashion around 1630-1640. Kissaki is small, nakago is smallish compared to nagasa, so its more or less typical for late Muromachi. And not Momoyama Muromachi, but more along the lines of 1515-1550. The negative is this being a period when a LOT of swords were produced, or rather unimpressive quality save for but a handful of names. Actually were it post-1560, I would have far better expectations regarding its quality.
  13. One of the cases where I have to start with a disclaimer that my opinion on this topic is likely to be uneducated, erroneous and subjectively personal. I think these two blades are very different and "Den" here has strong connotations. The underlying problem is Sa school excelling in basically every single style of their time. They can be strongly Soshu flavored, Bizen, Rai or their old, provincial Yamato-sort-of style. Frankly speaking the last option is the least impressive, but every seller of such items always insists it still has some connection to Masamune and O-Sa's fame. Which it does not - its just a provincial style, and more often than not - a coarsely forged one. Within "Soshu works" you also have a big spread - from things that are almost Bizen, some could be mistaken for Chogi's school flavor, with ko nie and nioi and very sparse usage of any distinctively nie based activities, to the works where the foundation of hamon is sort of in nioi, but there are lots of nie activities, sunagashi, very often there is inazuma etc. Interestingly enough, the hada can in both cases can be either more or less pure itame or large featured mokume/itame/nagare based. The work on the left is in more Bizen-like style. Jigane is probably very good, but its mostly nioi/ko nie and will not have strong Soshu feel to it. Its a style which is distinctively Sa. Its also much harder to photograph and thus pictures might not reflect the real quality out there. The blade on the right is late Nambokucho, of distinctive later style, sunagashi dominated with somewhat rougher nie. It will be much brighter, but I wonder whether Sa Yoshisada is a strong attribution here. I feel today such items would have a strong chance to be attributed as Sue Sa, or something similar. The ones with stronger nie and masame would even go Mino Kanenobu. I think most learned collectors today assign lesser value to this type of work, though I personally like it a lot. Here is an example. Still of the two blades I would take without question the one from 65th Juyo session. Later Sa works can have rougher jigane, and I suspect the 15th session examples is like that.
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